On Thursday 2 December Manchester Jewish Museum will be transported to the magical lands of Brick Lane and Hampstead with a bawdy and infectiously fun take on classic Yiddish pantomime ‘Yankl & Der Beanstalk’.
Eclectic artist collective Sam Ranger, Tamara Micner and Emily Rose, accompanied by a small troupe of colourful performers, will give an adult twist to the Yiddish Pantomime tradition with their riotous, raucous and irreverent pantomime-in-progress.
It tells the story of Yankl, a hapless pickle seller who lives with his mum off Brick Lane. One day Yankl swaps some pickles for some beans, climbs a beanstalk and ends up in… Hampstead!?
You can expect Yiddish translations of your favourite songs (Bohemian Rhapsody anyone?) and all the Panto traditions you could wish for as the troupe read scenes from their new script, perform a selection of musical numbers, and, of course, plenty of audience interaction!
Yankl & Der Beanstalk is part of the museum’s inaugural Synagogue Nights season of intimate events in their beautiful Grade II* listed Spanish and Portuguese synagogue. Continuing in to early 2022 with Israel world-jazz music artist Noga Ritter, this season brings the historic building to life with events that explore different Jewish identities and stories.
Yiddish Pantomimes (also called Haimisher pantomimes) became popular in Manchester’s Jewish communities after World War Two. They would take traditional English Pantomimes such as Aladdin, Cinderella and Jack in the Beanstalk and infuse them with Jewish characters and Yiddish language, songs and humour to give them a Jewish twist. In Manchester many of the Yiddish Pantomimes were written by local Jewish playwright Julius Emanuel.
Photos and programmes of Julius Emanuel’s pantomimes are stored in Manchester Jewish Museum’s collection including an oral history with the writer himself: “If you think about it, it’s quite an amusing idea to translate a typical English pantomime into a Jewish idiom… It became a tradition and I used to produce one every year. The first one was, ‘Cinderelly’, then there was ‘Alleddin and his Magic lamp’, ‘Babes in de vood’, ‘Mick Wittingstein’, ‘Humpty Dumpling’ and they were all in the Jewish idiom you see… It was quite amusing if you were Yiddish and English.”
Yankl & Der Beanstalk will be performed on Thursday 2 December at Manchester Jewish Museum in the Frade II* Listed Synagogue. You can book via the website below or by calling 0161 834 9879: www.manchesterjewishmuseum.
Manchester Jewish Museum is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm and will be open from 6pm on event evenings.